Te Awamutu Courier
Team sprint trio a world-class act
The emergence of the women’s team sprint, including Te Awamutu’s Rebecca Petch, set the tone for further success for the New Zealand cycling team on the final day of the Oceania Championships in Brisbane.
With a weather eye on the Commonwealth Games and the world championships, Cycling New Zealand’s newly minted women’s team sprint trio proved world class this week.
New national sprint coach Nick Flyger and his wife, the double
Olympic and 11-time world champion Anna Meares, whose name adorns the velodrome in Brisbane, were no doubt excited at the prospects as Flyger heads to Cambridge to take up his role full time.
The trio of Petch, Olivia King and Ellesse Andrews lowered their national record set at the recent national championships twice this week, now down to 47.589s, which would have qualified them third fastest at last year’s world champs.
The spark came from Olympic BMX semifinalist Petch, who is mixing across both disciplines, and produced starting times up with the best in the world, with support from King and the power and purpose from Tokyo medallist Andrews, who was the fastest third wheel.
“It was cool lining up with the girls and being able to share it with the team was really special. I think there’s so much more to come from the team which is really exciting,” said Petch. “I am super-stoked,” said Andrews. “To better our time from nationals, and better our qualifying time in the final was super-great. As Beks said, we definitely have more to give, so I’m excited for that.”
The rest of the final day belonged to the four-discipline omnium, a key Olympic and world championship event, with New Zealand riders winning three of the four titles up for grabs.